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Our Team

Renown Dance Professionals, Researchers & Scholars

Meet our team of advisors, presenters and guests artists who support our passion for excellence in Dance Education.

Jolanta Oko Founder/Director MA BFA OCT NBS-TTP ADCSC-CICB

Education

Master of Arts in Dance – York University (2 yrs)
Bachelor of Arts in Dance – York University (4 yrs)
Bachelor of Education – Medaille College (1 yr)
Teacher Training Program Grad – Canada’s National Ballet School (3 yrs)
Cecchetti Associates Diploma – Cecchetti Society of Canada
Principal’s Qualifications 1 & 2: OECTA & ETFO (1 yr)

Director/Choreographer/Professional Performance Experience

Dance Studio Owner – 8 years

Professional Dance Team Director – 8 years

Professional Dancer – 13 years

 

Nominated for the Hamilton Arts Innovator Award in 2017 and 2018, Jolanta Oko is the Founder and Director of Canada’s National Academy of Dance Education. She holds a BFA and MA in Dance from York University and is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program. Jolanta holds her Associates Diploma from the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is an Ontario Certified Teacher. Jolanta has directed professional dance teams across Ontario and danced professionally in the CFL, NAFL, CSL, USL, and MSL. She has a plethora of experience in the dance world having been a dance teacher for 22 years, a studio owner for 8, and a school teacher for 12 years. She has traveled across Canada facilitating Dance Educator Conferences and Workshops for School Boards, Dance Studios, Dance Studio Owners, Dance Teachers, and School Teachers. She is the author of over 10 Dance Resources, designed to help Dance Educators both in the Studio and School Board sectors deliver a 21st-century dance education to their students. Going into the 3rd year as Founder/Director of Canada’s National Academy of Dance Education she is proud to acknowledge our global alumni community.

Sarah Murphy-Dyson - Former 1st Soloist RWB

Sarah Murphy-Dyson was a 1st soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. After retirement, she was cast in the North American premiere of Dirty Dancing (Mirvish) which brought her to Toronto. Sarah has appeared on such shows as Suits, Diggstown, Rookie Blue, The Next Step, and as Isabelle’s ballet teacher in the recent American Girl movie. She has won a Gemini Award and has worked as a stunt double for Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale and Jaime King. Ms. Murphy-Dyson holds a BFA in theatre from the University of Winnipeg.

Sheona Bell - CSC

Sheona Bell, named in 1992 to the position of Co-Artistic Director of the Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance in Mississauga, is a graduate of the Dance Program at the University of Waterloo and the National Ballet School of Canada where she was awarded her Teacher Training Program Certificate. Ms Bell also has her Advanced Cecchetti Diploma and is a Fellowship Member of the Cecchetti Society. Her expertise as a ballet master teacher, have lead to her having taught prospective teacher training students at Canada’s National Ballet School. Ms. Bell has worked hard to develop a high standard of technique for the dancers at her studio.

Luisa Zoratti - OCT

Luisa Zoratti has served as an educator for over 30 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Education, Brock University.  She brings with her a wealth of experience in Special Education.  Her current role as Special Education Resource Teacher allows her to work closely with students using the latest in 21st century teaching for identified students. Luisa’s expertise on the topics of “changing class/studio dynamics” and “strategies to accommodate the needs of our dancers” make her a well respected educator in her field.

Dr Tanya Berg - PhD in Dance

Tanya Berg holds a PhD in Dance Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada and she is a graduate of the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School. In addition to teaching ballet in private dance studios, Tanya has taught at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education since 2003. Tanya has presented papers at the Canadian Society for Dance Studies Conference in Montreal (2012), the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers, France (2014) and most recently at the Corps de Ballet International conference in Sarasota, Florida (2016). Her 2015 publication in Research In Dance Education discusses how the current trend of digital video surveillance in commercial dance studios is increasing the panopticism already present in dance education. Her doctoral research, facilitated by her studio and academic backgrounds, explores the kinesthetic dialogue present in ballet pedagogy.

Linda Arkelian - Former Soloist RWB

Linda Arkelian’s dancing experience has been expansive and varied, having performed internationally with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Theatre Ballet of Canada, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre and the Judith Marcuse Dance Company. She was the recipient of a Canada Council grant in 1991. She is a Ballet Instructor at SFU and Lamondance. Linda is also an actor, artist and film maker. Her film collaborations with David Cooper have been screened internationally.

Carrie Broda RMT - Former 2nd Soloist RWB

Born in Melville, Saskatchewan and raised in Regina, Carrie Broda began her dance training at Myers Dance Centre. She trained professionally at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, graduating from the Professional Division in 1996. While still in the RWB School, Broda made her professional debut in the Company’s 1994 production of Swan Lake.

Broda joined the RWB as an apprentice in 1998 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2000. For the 2006/07 she was promoted to second soloist. During her time with the RWB, Broda has been featured in many roles including Tiger Lily/Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan, Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy and The White Cat in The Sleeping Beauty, Flamingo in Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story and Don José’s Mother in Carmen, The Passion.

Anne-Marie Ludwig - Lic CUSA-CICB BFA NBS - TTP RAD MRTS

Originally hailing from Germany, Anne-Marie Ludwig is a former student of Canada’s National Ballet School. She initially trained under the tutelage of Anne-Marie Pilon-Gerdun; Ontario’s current provincial representative of the Cecchetti Society of Canada. She later trained with The School of Alberta Ballet’s summer programme before being accepted into their professional division by the Kilgours themselves. Upon high school graduation, Anne-Marie went on to complete her BFA (Honours) in Dance from York University. She subsequently graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School Teacher’s Training Program, becoming accredited with the Cecchetti Society in June 2011 with Distinction.

Alison Stark - MSc BA

Alison Stark graduated with distinction from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts Honors Specialization in Kinesiology degree in 2014. While at the Western University, Alison specialized in athletic injuries, landing her a position as the student athletic therapist for the Mustang’s Football team in her final year. This experience sparked Alison’s interest in the area of Sport Physiotherapy, which involves on field coverage at games and practices, along with rehabilitation in the clinic in order to return the athlete back to play.

In 2016, Alison earned her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Queen’s University. Shortly after graduating, Alison enrolled in the Sport Physiotherapy Fellowship through the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic in London to pursue her interest in athletic injuries. During the one year Fellowship, Alison was the Physiotherapist for all of Fanshawe College’s Varsity teams. She gained on field experience in soccer, basketball, volleyball, hockey, softball, baseball, and cross country with Fanshawe. Outside of the college, Alison gained experience in rugby at high school tournaments, and running in community road races. In the clinic, she rehabilitated a variety of active individuals to help them return to their optimal functioning. This fellowship trained Alison to create individualized return to play programs for athletes and personalize physiotherapy treatment towards specific sport requirements. After gaining numerous hours in sport coverage and sport physiotherapy mentoring, Alison now plans to pursue her Sport Physiotherapy Certificate in the next year, as well as to continue her education in manual therapy and acupuncture. She is currently the physiotherapist for the 2017-2018 midget AA girl’s hockey team, the Brock Jr. Badgers FLEET.

Alison’s treatment techniques combine a mix of manual therapy and exercise training in order to return her patients back to their activity and help them achieve their physical goals.

Roselle Simard - NBS-TTP

Roselle Simard obtained her teaching diploma from the National Ballet School of Canada with a mention of honor in 2003, where she also received her certification through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing’s, Ballet and National Dance division. For a few years, Roselle taught  at the National Ballet School of Canada in the professional and recreational programs, as well as playing a main role in the development of a rehabilitation program for the young dancers of the school. From 2007 to 2012, she works at the École Supérieure de ballet du Québec as Ballet Teacher and Health Co-ordinator. During these years, Roselle set up a network of specialists in the medical field to prevent dance injuries. In spring 2012 she moved to Saguenay to teach at the École Florence Fourcaudot. Her passion for teaching and supporting the artistic development of young dancers is inspiring. Besides her teaching, Roselle supports and advises the artistic team. She also wishes to reach as many individual as possible through dance and is about to start a dance program in her area for people living with Parkinson disease with the support of Dance for PD.

Krista Ross MSc PT

Krista Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Kinetics (with Honours) from St.Francis Xavier University (2009) and a Master of Science in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University (2012). As a person-focused physiotherapist, she is motivated to help people overcome their obstacles and find a higher quality of life.

Throughout her initial years working as a physiotherapist, Krista has gained experience and knowledge in a variety of settings, including neuro-rehabilitation, orthopedics, pediatrics and more.  Throughout her journey, she developed a particular passion for helping those with orthopedic and pelvic health conditions.  

Krista has obtained post-graduate certifications in advanced manual therapy skills, pelvic floor rehabilitation for both men and women, and core/pelvic floor considerations for female athletes.  She works hard with her clients to help them recognize their potential, set goals and live the life they desire.  Through education, manual therapy and exercise, she helps to guide her clients through their healthcare journey.

 

Dr. Monique Aucoin DC

Dr. Monique Aucoin attended Dalhousie University where she studied Kinesiology and furthered her studies at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College graduating with a doctorate degree in Chiropractic. She grew up in Moncton, NB, lived in PEI and now makes her home Halifax, NS. Over the years she has been widely involved in the health industry as a Certified Personal Trainer, aerobics and Yoga instructor.  In addition to completing her chiropractic degree, Dr. Aucoin has taken further training in different Chiropractic techniques such as, Activator, Spine Align, and Thompson as well as receiving a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Aucoin wrote her graduate thesis on the effectiveness of orthotics and continues active research in the orthotics industry.

Dr. Aucoin is a member of the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors, the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Certified Specialist of Exercise Physiology Association, Can-fit pro From Dr. Aucoin’s Acadian background, she is fluently bilingual. Dr. Aucoin is a big believer in a well balanced life, including good nutrition, exercise, relaxation and regular Chiropractic care. 

Avinash Singh PT

Avinash Singh has been a Physiotherapist since 2011.

Avinash has worn many hats as a Physiotherapist. He has been a Clinic manager in a corporate setting to his current role as owner and manager of 4 multi-disciplinary clinics in Hamilton, Burlington and Dundas.

His passion is helping people live the life they want without medications, injections and surgeries.

Throughout his professional and entrepreneurial journey, he has taken many continuing education courses including a Diploma in Advanced Manual Therapy, Hand Splinting, Certification in Temporomandibular Joint (Jaw) Dysfunction, Acupuncture, Active Soft Tissue Release and more. 

He is passionate about teaching and has helped to shape the career path of more than 600 Physiotherapist graduates across Ontario through his mentorship and tutorship. He has been an invigilating examiner for McMaster University’s Mock OSCE’s for their Physiotherapy Program as well. 

Mark Kronwald FRCms OCT

Mark Kronwald is a passionate student of human movement and is very passionate about sharing the knowledge he has gained through his years of continuous research. He has been a movement instructor for the last nine years and enjoys helping others experience the sense of freedom that comes with a human body that is capable of moving to its fullest capacity. In addition to being a movement instructor, he works as a full-time elementary school teacher with the Grand Erie District School Board. Mark is a Functional Range Conditioning mobility specialist (FRCms), Foundation Training certified instructor and Certified Yoga Instructor.

Renata Adamczyk DOPM RMT CSCS

Renata Adamczyk has a background in physical therapy and injury recovery. Her personal interest in health and wellness, combined with her education, has led her to become a well-rounded practitioner, approaching health issues from different perspectives when necessary. She has been a manual osteopath and RMT for over 5 years.  Her experience as a strength coach and former professional basketball player gives her an in depth knowledge of sports injuries and therapy.  
Renata believes in the body’s ability to heal itself and works with her clients to help realign their body.

Audrey Aguanno MSW

Audrey Aguanno has been working as a social worker for over 20 years in a variety of roles including child welfare in both Ontario and California (for 5 years), nephrology and palliative care in the hospital setting and mental health. For the past 11 years, she has been working with the Hamilton Family Health Team as a mental health counsellor in a primary care setting with youth, families and couples. Her primary interests fall under the category of anxiety related issues.

Jennifer Robichaud BFA

Holding an Honours BFA from York University, Jennifer Robichaud has had extensive dance training in many disciplines, specializing in jazz and contemporary forms. Jennifer co-founded Larchaud Dance Project in 2004 and currently holds the position as Artistic Director.

 A teacher of many disciplines, she is known for her innovative contemporary and creative acrobatic choreography. She leads countless workshops in the city as part of Larchaud Dance Project, and is involved with youth programming and initiatives.

Alan Lam DScPT (c), MScPT, Dip. Manip. PT, FCAMPT, CGIMS

Alan graduated from the University of Alberta in 2013 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree. Since then, his devotion to lifelong learning has led to his pursuit of advanced orthopaedic education in order to gain a deeper knowledge in assessment and treatment approaches in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

In 2018, Alan successfully completed the Diploma of Advanced Orthopaedic Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy through the Canadian Orthopaedic Division and subsequently became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT), the highest award bestowed upon a physiotherapist in manual therapy.  Additionally, he has earned certification from the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT) after successful completion of its level courses and exams, and is currently in the process of completing the prestigious Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) program at Andrews University.

In 2019, Alan became only one of a handful of physiotherapists to earn the title of a certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in Canada.  He has also obtained certification in Chan Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) from the University of British Columbia.  

Alan particularly enjoys treating dancers and the exciting challenge that comes with dealing with the many intricacies of this population.  He believes that successful rehabilitation can be achieved only when a person is treated as a whole, rather than treating isolated units of dysfunction.  A thorough comprehensive assessment, utilization of clinical reasoning, and approaching problems as a quadrant is a key component for successful outcomes, especially in treating dancers and patients experiencing pain of a longstanding nature.  Alan is currently working on his dissertation project for his doctorate degree and is interested in the role of spinal dysfunction and its peripheral manifestations in dancers.

Alan’s commitment to professional development has led to his role as a mentor for physiotherapists currently pursuing the Canadian and US Manual Therapy Fellowship Programs.

Alan is fluent in Cantonese for those requiring a Cantonese-speaking physiotherapist.  

Matt Cairns MScPT

Matt Cairns has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. He began as a personal trainer with a keen interest in weight training and basic strengthening. Through experiences with both his clients and his own body, he was introduced to Pilates. He worked with Brian Webb for 2 years exploring a new dimension of strength and flexibility that I did not know existed. This lead me to teacher training courses in Pilates and instilled a strong desire to continue to learn about the human body. He applied to physiotherapy school to deepen his understanding of the physical body. He has pursued post-graduate coursework and certifications in Manual Therapy, IMS, Trigger Point Dry Needling, Spinal Manipulation, Diagnostic Imaging, and Pilates. He now uses a combination of manual therapy, dry needling, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and education to help his patients.  His approach is built on personal experiences, education and clinical reasoning skills. He spends time explaining your diagnosis or clinical presentation and work directly with you to help you organize and understand your exercise program and treatment.

Ryan Peplinski B.Mus. (Honours), Summa Cum Laude

Ryan is an educator, composer, pianist, vocalist, arranger, music theorist/theoretical language designer, and recent guest lecturer at McMaster University where he presented and discussed the possibilities and application of his Transformation Music Theory Model to a senior year composition class. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours), Summa Cum Laude from McMaster University and a Music Diploma in Applied Arts from Mohawk College. His early music career began with the Burlington Teen Tour Band and was a semi-finalist in a nation-wide talent search held by YTV. Ryan has been teaching professionally for over 15 years and maintains a busy music studio that encompasses Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville in Ontario, Canada.

Rainer Noack

Rainer Noack is a strong and invaluable player in the Arts in Canada. As a graduate of Sheridan College, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, his many positive experiences have influenced him to develop, coordinate, implement, and encourage countless theatre programs in the Burlington area. Most notably, he is the Founder and Director of Burlington Student Theatre since 1978, which offers one of the finest experiences currently available to students in Ontario. He has taught Drama in both the Public and Catholic School Boards. Rainer has inspired hundreds of students in the past to pursue careers in the Arts worldwide, and continues to inspire many more.

Rainer is the recipient of notable awards, such as the 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and has been recognized as the Burlington Arts Person of the Year in both 1995 and 2009. In November 2014, he became the second inductee into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame, and is twice a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Countless hours of volunteer time as well as involvement with the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Creative Burlington, and Sheridan College’s Performing Arts Advisory Council for Technical Theatre, are just some of Rainer’s tireless efforts to promote the Arts.

Rainer believes that the future of peace for humankind will come from artists, because that is what they do. Strength, confidence, and great work ethic are core values that Rainer applies to his career as an Arts Educator, and instills in his students as a sure path to success. The work Rainer does is invaluable to the City of Burlington, the province and the Arts in Canada

Erin Stanley PT

Erin is currently working as a physiotherapist at the Janeway Children’s Hospital, where she sees children of all ages, including many dancers recovering from injuries.  Erin graduated from Queen’s University with her physiotherapy degree in 2003 and since that time has been working primarily within the area of pediatric physiotherapy.  Erin spent 7 years working at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, which is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital.  As well, Erin had the opportunity to spend one year living and working in London, England, as part of the outpatient pediatric physiotherapy team at the Royal Free Hospital.  In her life prior to physiotherapy, Erin was a passionate ballet dancer and dance teacher, with her teacher, Sandra Blackmore in St. John’s.  As a teenager, she spent every summer at ballet schools across the country, including Canada’s National Ballet School, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Cleveland School of Ballet.  It was through her many dance injuries that Erin learned about physiotherapy and the skills physiotherapists had to keep her dancing, which then ultimately led to the inspiration to choose it as a career path.  Erin is excited to combine, both her love of dance and her skills as a physiotherapist, to present today and is always thrilled to help a young dancer get back to the stage! 

Sonia Russ

Sonia is a Commercial Account Manager with a Canadian Insurance Company. Her expertise in the industry is undeniable with over 40 years of progressive insurance experience.

She believes that the foundation of business includes developing strong relationships with customers while providing professional service.

Dr Kirsten Setrakov B.Sc. D.C.

Kirsten grew up in a small town on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. She began to dance ballet at the age of 3 and continued as a competitive dancer for most of her life. Kirsten attended the Alison Lamont School of Dance, following the Royal Academy of Dance examination syllabus. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a minor in French at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Kirsten graduated first in her class from Palmer College of Chiropractic in October 2019. She was honoured to address her class as valedictorian. Dr. Kirsten is now practicing in Hamilton, Ontario. She is passionate about evidence-based, patient-centered chiropractic care. She is currently completing her Contemporary Medical Acupuncture course at McMaster University. When she is not dancing, seeing patients, or in school, she can be found traveling. She has traveled to over 25 countries and hopes to continue to explore the world!

JamieLynn Jelley BPhE, FHP

JaimeLynn works with Parks and Recreation Ontario, focusing on healthy child development in her role as Senior Coordinator, HIGH FIVE® Training and Stakeholder Engagement.  HIGH FIVE® (developed by Parks and Recreation Ontario) is Canada’s quality standard for children’s programs and is now providing training in the Older Adult sector as well. On her path to Parks and Recreation Ontario, JaimeLynn was a Registered Kinesiologist, Varsity level softball coach and Supervisor of Child, Youth and Fitness Programs with the YMCA. JaimeLynn has an Honours Bachelor of Physical Education, a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, is NCCP certified and a YMCA Fitness Trainer.

Jorie Brown & Nicole Pollock - Co-founders/Owners Cotton Candy Event Staffing

Co- founders Jorie Brown and Nicole Pollock danced professionally for the NBA and CFL where their understanding, passion and love for branding began. This training infused the fundamentals of being confident and disciplined while learning invaluable skills, building a diverse network and understanding the importance of brand representation. Before joining forces to launch Cotton Candy, Jorie and Nicole spent 10 years in talent acquisition for promotional recruitment and managing staffing logistics across the country. This background has provided them the expertise in understanding the industry and the ability to select the best staff for in-field execution. Jorie and Nicole firmly embrace the mentality strong alone, unstoppable together and cultivate a company culture to embody that teamwork mentality.

Heather Ogden - Principal Dancer National Ballet of Canada

Heather Ogden was born in Toronto and trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance in British Columbia before joining The National Ballet of Canada in 1998. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2005. Ms. Ogden’s repertoire with the National Ballet includes principal roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Onegin, Nijinsky, The Merry Widow, La Bayadère, Cinderella, The Winter’s Tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anna Karenina, Le Petit Prince and Carmen. She has an extensive George Balanchine repertoire and has danced in many contemporary works, including new creations by such choreographers as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Crystal Pite and Jorma Elo. Ms. Ogden has danced lead roles in ballets by James Kudelka including the title role in Cinderella, Summer in The Four Seasons and Hélène in An Italian Straw Hat.As a guest artist, Ms. Ogden has performed with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, Munich Ballet and various galas such as The Hamburg Ballet’s 40th Anniversary Gala, Gala des Étoiles, Stars of the 21st Century Gala, The Banff Centre’s 60th Anniversary Gala and the International Ballet Festival in Havana Cuba. In 2011, Ms. Ogden was chosen by Evelyn Hart for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship program. In 2014, Ms. Ogden became an ambassador for Rolex Canada along with Principal Dancer Guillaume Côté. Ms. Ogden starred in the short film Lost In Motion II, choreographed by Guillaume Côté, which debuted at the Dance on Camera Festival in New York City in 2014.

Dr. Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt PhD Dance

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School and a former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. She currently is the Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning at York University in Toronto, where she also is a Full Professor in the Department of Dance, teaching dance education and dance history. Dr. Fisher-Stitt is the author of The Ballet Class: A History of Canada’s National Ballet School 1959-2009 and she has presented papers at the Society of Dance History Scholars, the European Association of Dance Historians, the International Conference on Dance Education (ICONDE 2014) and the Popular Culture Association.

Dr Jessica Davis PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT

Jessica Davis, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT has been practicing orthopaedic physical therapy with an emphasis in manual therapy since graduating from Duquesne University in 1999. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in 2008, became a Board-Certified Specialist in Orthopaedics in 2002, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists with Evidence in Motion in 2017.

Jessica is the co-owner of Perform Physio, LLC. Her primary areas of specialty include orthopedics, manual therapy, and performing arts medicine. As a former dancer herself, her mission is to keep dancers dancing by providing evidence-based treatments with emphasis on preventative injury management strategies. She is currently both an assistant professor and assistant director of clinical education with Duquesne University. She is also faculty with the Institute of Clinical Excellence where she is lead faculty for the Performing Arts Division. In addition, she is faculty with Evidence in Motion where she teaches weekend intensive courses. She has been faculty for the China Linkage program with Duquesne University teaching Foundational Concepts. She has also been interim faculty with the Dance Department of Slippery Rock University teaching dance kinesiology as well as a lab instructor for Duquesne University’s Physical Therapy department. She has extensive orthopedic manual therapy experience and has provided outpatient orthopedic physical therapy for many years in southern California and Pittsburgh.

Jessica maintains various professional memberships, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists, the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association, International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, and the American Physical Therapy Association.

Sandra Parks BFA MFA

Sandra Parks is a choreographer, dance educator, and an advocate for female leadership. She is the founder and CEO of Women in Dance, a non-profit organization that promotes female leadership in dance and related fields. The mission of Women in Dance is to investigate, explore, and reflect on women’s leadership by presenting innovative and multicultural dance work to celebrate, develop, and promote women’s leadership in dance making, dance-related fields, and other male-dominated professions.

Sandra holds her BFA from New York University and MFA from Smith College, MA. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Sandra danced as a soloist with Four Seasons Ballet and Wu-I Dance Company. She toured nationally and internationally with a Broadway production of the King And I. While directing her own production, she danced and choreographed more than 80 live concerts. After she moved to Boston, she danced with Bosoma Dance Company, Dance Collective, and Impulse Dance Company.

Sandra has presented her work at professional venues in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Boston, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City as well as Beijing and Taipei. She also created commissioned work for Bosoma Dance Company in Boston, Cangelosi Dance Project and Of Moving Colors in Baton Rouge, LA.

Sandra was a faculty member for Boston University, Bridgewater State College, Colleges of Fenway, Kennesaw State University, Louisiana State University, Regis College, and Smith College, and she taught master classes at National Taiwan University of Arts. She is currently a full-time assistant teaching professor and the Dance Program Director at Drexel University.

Erica Hornthal MA LCPC BC-DMT

Erica is a licensed clinical professional counselor and board-certified dance/movement therapist.  It is Erica’s compassionate nature and gentle person-centered approach to therapy that allow her clients to feel supported and validated; mind, body, and soul.  Erica is the founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Therapy, a group practice founded in 2011.  As an expert on the intersection of movement and mental health, Erica has appeared in publications, podcasts, live news, and radio including WGN, NBC, The Chicago Sun Times, The Chicago Tribune, Buzzfeed, Bustle, NBC News Better, Reader’s Digest, Prevention and as a columnist for Dance Informa Magazine, 30 Seconds, and Thrive Global.

Erica understands that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and that life is experienced through movement.  Her approach allows each client to express their feelings, experiences, and ideas, with their whole body. Erica’s areas of expertise include cognitive and movement disorders, neurologic conditions, anxiety and depression, PTSD, trauma (including rape and sexual abuse), eating disorders, loss, and phase of life issues, including, but not limited to caregiving.

Erica enjoys working with clients who are looking to deepen their mind-body connection, understand their movement habits as it relates to mental health, or simply improve their quality of life by embracing non-verbal communication and body language as an alternate means of expression. 

In addition to seeing clients, Erica is a passionate seasoned public speaker with more than 10 years experience in presenting talks and workshops at Fortune 500 companies, business organizations, women’s groups, professional associations and universities.   

Jennifer Milner

Jennifer Milner is a ballet coach and certified Pilates trainer. She worked for Westside Dance Physical Therapy (the official physical therapists for New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet), and has trained a wide variety of clients, including Olympic medalists and dancers from New York City Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, ABT, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Ballet, and more. Jennifer is certified in Maria Walton-Mahon’s Progressing Ballet Technique and taken seminars from Lisa Howell, Marie-Jose Blom, and Eric Franklin. She is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and presented at the world conference in Houston in 2017 and Montreal in 2019.

Jennifer’s ability to move between ballet studios and cross-training venues, addressing biomechanical imbalances and technique dysfunctions in a practical strength-training way, has made her a sought-after guest speaker for dance schools and companies, and her many years of training dancers across the hypermobility spectrum have made her passionate about educating dancers and teachers on how to train hypermobile dancers in a healthy and efficient way.  Jennifer’s wide and varied health and dance science background, along with her dance experience and her own encounters with injuries, gives Jennifer a unique insight and perspective on getting and maintaining a strong, healthy body at peak performance level.